Help students learn yoga poses and how to use them as strategies for staying calm.
- No supplies needed
How to Play
- Space students out so that there are at least three feet between each of them.
- Help the students practice deep breathing. Instruct them to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Repeat this five times or as many times as it takes to get them settled and in control.
- Tell the students today we are learning some yoga poses to help us reset and relax.
- Guide them through the poses below or any other yoga poses.
1st Yoga Pose: Seeds to sunflowers
- Show students how to get into the seed position by crouching down and hunching over as much as possible, wrapping their arms around their bent legs.
- Tell the group to imagine they are slowly growing into a flower.
- They need to uncurl and slowly stand which is very challenging.
- Encourage the students to stand straight up on their tiptoes, arms completely outstretched up, face oriented to the sun, and hold it for 5 seconds.
2nd Yoga Pose: Upward arm stretch
- Tell students to lift their arms up, bend their elbows, and clasp their hands behind their heads.
- Have students push their elbows back. They should feel their shoulder muscles contracting and their chest expanding.
- Now have students inhale, raise their arms, and clasp both hands together while holding their palms up. Have the group hold this for several seconds.
- Then have students exhale, release, and return their hands back behind their heads.
- Repeat this three times or as many times as possible within the time limit.
3rd Yoga Pose: Lion
- Have students sit up straight with eyes closed, mouths closed, and hands clenched.
- Tell the students to inhale and exhale forcefully through their mouths as they open their eyes as wide as possible while at the same time opening their mouths and sticking their tongue out as far as possible.
- The goal is to stretch and maximize all the muscles around the face and eyes.
- Have students inhale and return to closed eyes and closed mouth position.
- Do this exercise 3 times or as many times as possible within the time limit.
Activity Prompts for Reflection
- Does anyone know any other yoga poses or strategies you use to calm down?
- How did completing these different yoga poses make you feel?
- What are some other things you can do to help you remain calm?
- What are some surprises that may occur where using one of these might be helpful?
Other Ways to Play
- Put on some calming music to help students stay relaxed throughout the yoga poses.
- Find pictures or YouTube videos for students to visualize what the pose is supposed to look like.
- Turn down/off the lights to make the atmosphere more relaxing.
- Nominate different students to be in charge of a pose and lead the class through it.
- Use the SEL Activity Prompts to tie other SEL competencies to this activity.